We are three months away from the 2015 NFL Draft and many are still split on who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should select with the top pick, Florida State’s Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
But according to one draft expert, if it weren’t for off-field issues, it would be Winston and it wouldn’t even be close.
In his latest mock draft for ESPN, Todd McShay has the Bucs taking Winston with the other top quarterback, Mariota, slipping from the top spot to No. 6 with the New York Jets.
During a segment on ESPN, McShay explained why he has Winston rated so high.
“Ultimately, if [teams] feel like they can trust Jameis Winston to be the face of their franchise, then it goes to on the field and on the field I think there is a big gap between Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston,” said McShay. “Winston does things from inside the pocket, where you have to win in the NFL, that very few others you rarely see coming out of the college level do.”
McShay went on to explain just how highly graded Winston is based on his performance alone.
“From purely on the field, the grade for Jameis Winston is just behind Andrew Luck’s in the last ten years and there is nobody else in between,” said McShay.
As for Mariota, McShay says the biggest problem is he didn’t have to make enough NFL-type throws (i.e. to a specific spot while under pressure in the pocket) in college to make a true evaluation but that when he did, he was less efficient.
McShay says if he were to grade Mariota on NFL-type throws alone, he would be a third- or fourth-round quarterback. However, because “he is so special at everything else he does,” McShay still has him as the second-best quarterback in the draft.
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